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Corporate bankers provide advice to commercial and private clients about a variety of financial matters, as well as promoting financial services/products to help these clients run their operations.

Benefits may include company cars, low rate loans and mortgages, non-contributory pension schemes, private health insurance and profit-linked pay.

What does a corporate banker do? Typical employers | Qualifications and training | Key skills

Corporate bankers are like retail bankers , but they deal with companies rather than everyday people. Their clients range from small and medium sized companies to huge conglomerates. The products they offer include treasury services, loans and credit, trade finance (such as letters of credit) and employer services (such as payroll).

Corporate bankers are employed by clearing/commercial banks, the Bank of England and other banking sector firms. Their responsibilities include:

  • meeting with and interviewing corporate and personal customers, discussing their financial requirements and providing appropriate financial advice
  • advising corporate clients about mergers, acquisitions, capital markets etc
  • preparing lending agreements
  • promoting the bank's services
  • planning and problem solving
  • writing reports
  • managing projects
  • training and supervising junior banking staff.

A career in banking provides high levels of responsibility, good promotional prospects and impressive financial rewards for the most successful employees. However, in return, very long hours of work and high levels of stress are common. Regular travel, absence from home overnight and overseas work may also be required.

Corporate banking is a popular career choice and graduate vacancies are highly sought after. Most opportunities arise in London and other major UK and international cities. Vacancies are advertised by careers services, on relevant organisations' websites, in specialist graduate careers publications such as TARGETjobs Finance, and in national newspapers, such as Bloomberg, Business Week, The Financial Times, The London Evening Standard, The Economist and The Banker, plus their online equivalents. Undertaking relevant sector/company research, attending presentations and networking are essential.

Qualifications and training required

There are routes into this career for both university graduates and school leavers. Graduates will need a good honours degree (min 2.1), preferably in a business-related subject such as economics, business studies, maths or management to get onto a bank’s graduate scheme.

There are also opportunities for school leavers, who can enter the profession in customer service roles and work up by gaining experience and professional qualifications. For more information, see our article on how to get into a career in finance, as well as the finance sector of TARGETcareers, our website aimed at school leavers.

Relevant paid or voluntary experience gained via job shadowing, vacation work and internships is particularly beneficial.

Key skills for corporate bankers

  • Analytical ability
  • Numeracy skills
  • Verbal and written communication skills
  • Very good interpersonal skills
  • Negotiation skills
  • Discretion
  • Attention to detail
  • Ability to prioritise, manage time and work under pressure
  • Willingness to work long and unsocial hours.

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In Partnership

This content has been written or sourced by AGCAS, the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services, and edited by TARGETjobs as part of a content partnership. AGCAS provides impartial information and guidance resources for higher education student career development and graduate employment professionals.

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